Three leading young plant propagators talk about their outstanding results growing under Philips LED toplighting
Aug 27, 2019
Three North American growers recently shared the news of excellent results growing under Philips LED toplighting. After successful trial installations in 2016, Kalamazoo Specialty Plants, Lucas Greenhouses and Jolly Farmer all completed significant expansions of their Philips LED grow lights lighting for the 2019 growing season. In so doing, each grower has again, seen similar improvements: better quality crops, reduction in labor, and increased customer satisfaction.
All three companies are in locations that have limited light in winter months. Thanks to Philips LED toplighting they have all gained consistent and efficient lighting and, therefore, more predictable growth during the critical growing period.
Kalamazoo Specialty Plants, with 700,000 square feet of greenhouses in Kalamazoo, Michigan, grows more than a million herbs and several hundred thousand four-inch perennials each year. Owner Rick Ouding credits Philips LED toplighting with producing better plant quality and reducing costs. “LED lights help us give a better start to our plants,” he said. “We see significantly faster rooting, more compact plants, better foliage color and thicker stems.
“We don’t have to pinch our plants anymore because the branching is so much better. By not having to pinch these plants we don’t have to handle them as much, so we have less labor involved.”
Jolly Farmer, in Northampton, New Brunswick, Canada, grows 3,000 different plant varieties and a total of more than one million plants a year. With Philips LED grow lights, the company realized a 52% reduction in energy consumption. Jolly Farmer is most pleased about Philips LED’s effect on plant quality and customer satisfaction. James Darrow, Jolly Farmer General Manager, summed up his experience of growing under LED lighting, “We have better height control and more compact development. It also gives us better predictability in our ship dates. Customers have come to rely on us over many years to provide them with quality products and we’re always looking for better ways to do this.”
George Lucas, co-owner of the 1.7 million-square-feet Lucas Greenhouse in Monroeville, New Jersey, said customers have been vocal in their praise of the plants from his greenhouses. “Every year with our root cuttings, we get information back from customers saying ‘this stuff looks great.’ This year [after growing under LEDs] people are writing me letters about how much better even than in the past our plants have been.” Tom Gunther, Lead Grower for Propagation added, “We’ve reduced the growth regulation required. That’s good for us and good for our downstream customers.” By replacing their HPS with Philips LEDs, Lucas Greenhouse was also able to increase its lit space by nearly 50% with the same power usage.
“We are proud to help these growers improve their plant quality while cutting costs,” said Ron DeKok, Business Development Director for the North America horticulture LED team of Signify. “They have made a great investment in their futures and we’re especially pleased to see them already achieving significant returns.”